It has been announced today that Germany’s Federal government will host a celebration, at the Brandenburg Gate on Sunday 9th November 2014, marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The motto for this celebratory gala event will be “Standing up for Freedom”.
As part of the announcement it has also been confirmed that Peter will perform his orchestral version of the David Bowie song ‘Heroes’ at the event. A song famously associated with Berlin and originally recorded by Bowie at the Hansa Studios.
The full press release for the planned celebrations follows:
“Standing up for Freedom”: Federal government to host anniversary bash at Brandenburg Gate
On 9th November 2014 25 years will have elapsed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. To mark the occasion the federal government is inviting all German citizens to a celebratory gala event at the Brandenburg Gate. The motto of the festivities, which will be held in collaboration with the State of Berlin, will be “Standing up for Freedom”.
“With the festival we will be commemorating the peaceful revolution and the fall of the Wall. We will be calling to mind many crucial moments associated with the event and we want to give people a positive outlook on the future,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert at a gathering in Berlin to present the programme. “Our citizens will be at the centre of proceedings at the celebration. It was they whose courage brought about the fall of the Wall.”
An impressive lighting choreography will provide the backdrop for a packed programme of music, entertainment and information, beginning at 12 noon with a public rehearsal by the Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim.
The afternoon programme from 2pm to 5.30pm will be presented by Shary Reeves and Erkan Arikan and is aimed at a younger public and families. There will be music by OTTO NORMAL, Mine, Beat’n Blow and Clueso and a performance by Six Step/Breaker, winners of the break dance competition for kids. In the pauses between the sets the artists will be interviewed on their impressions regarding the fall of the Wall.
The evening’s events will begin at 6pm with an act to commemorate people killed attempting to cross the Wall. This will be followed by an address by Jan Josef Liefers, who will be MC for the stage programme. “The euphoria that night was utterly real, mind-blowing,” recalls Liefers. “I was thinking, fingers crossed that things don’t get nasty. 25 years after the event we are here to remember that historic night and have a great time reflecting and partying.”
The programme by phase7, the Berlin artists company led by Sven Sören Beyer, presents a multifaceted recollection of the divided Germany, the fall of the Wall and the subsequent united Germany: Peter Gabriel will give a rendition of “Heroes” and other musical highlights will be provided by Silly, Die Fantastischen Vier, Leipzig techno artist Paul Kalkbrenner and Udo Lindenberg. Videos in cartoon format and interviews with the likes of Freya Klier, Ulrike Poppe and Wolf Biermann will bring memories flooding back. The Staatskapelle Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim will perform the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, with singing by international stars such as Elīna Garanča, Renée Fleming, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape.
A further high point is provided by the inauguration of the “Light Border”. From 7th November this Berlin initiative will be using 8,000 luminous balloons to mark the 15-km-long route of the former wall. At a signal given by Berlin’s Governing Mayor, Klaus Wowereit, thousands of balloon sponsors representing the people who brought about the fall of the Wall will release helium balloons bearing their own personal hopes and wishes, all to the accompaniment of the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
“I am delighted that central and regional governments have been working so hard to make this happen,” said Richard Meng, spokesman for the Berlin Senate. “The Bürgerfest at the Brandenburg Gate will mark the culmination of the big day, alongside the official commemorative events and Berlin’s ‘Light Border’ initiative with white balloons lining the route of the former wall. It will be an emotional weekend, a time for Berliners to celebrate the happiest day in the city’s recent history.”
At Pariser Platz during the weekend of the 8th and 9th November the Federal Press Office will be presenting “Zeitreise”, a multimedia chronicle of German history over the last century, accompanied by original film footage. Information will also be provided by institutions such as the “Aufarbeitung” Foundation, the “Berliner Mauer” Foundation and the Federal Office for Political Education.